The Atlanta police officer who fatally shot a black man who was found asleep in a car in a Wendy’s drive-thru line has been charged with felony murder.
In a press conference Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announced 11 charges against Atlanta Police Department officer Garrett Rolfe and three charges against his partner, officer Devin Brosnan.
The officer shot Rayshard Brooks, 27, as he attempted to run away from police after a struggle in the fast-food restaurant’s parking lot last week. Brooks was taken to a nearby hospital but later died from the injuries.
On Sunday, following an autopsy, an investigator from the Fulton County medical examiner’s office told BuzzFeed News that Brooks had died of organ damage and blood loss caused by two gunshot wounds to his back. His death has been ruled a homicide.
Brooks’ death led to mass protests in Atlanta — on Saturday night, demonstrators set fire to the Wendy’s where he had been killed.
Rolfe, 27, was fired from the police department following these protests. He had worked for the Atlanta Police Department since 2013. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday that Rolfe had recently completed courses on de-escalation options and appropriate use of force.
Court documents obtained by the Guardian revealed that Rolfe attempted to cover up an incident in 2015 where he shot a black man.
In a statement, the APD said that Rolfe and another officer, Devin Brosnan, arrived at the Wendy’s restaurant at 125 University Ave at 10:33 p.m. on Friday night, after police received a complaint that a man had fallen asleep in the drive-thru, forcing other vehicles to drive around it. The officers woke Brooks and administered a field sobriety test, which he failed.
The officers’ body camera footage from Friday night show that they spoke with Brooks for nearly 30 minutes, during which time he repeatedly asked if he could walk to his sister’s house nearby. Brooks attempted to flee when officers tried to take him into custody following the sobriety test. During the struggle, Brooks obtained one of the officers’ tasers and ran away.
He was shot while running away from the officers.